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New MLK tree grove at Kenneth Hahn State Park

50th anniversary of King assassination

Merdies Hayes Editor In Chief | 3/29/2018, midnight
Acting on a motion by Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, the Board of Supervisors on..

Acting on a motion by Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday adjourned in memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. ahead of the 50th anniversary of the civil rights leader’s death.

Ridley-Thomas, who will travel to Memphis, Tenn. to participate in activities commemorating the assassination, also plans to dedicate the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Tree Grove at the highest point of the Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area on Saturday.

The 15,000-sq. ft. tree grove features an obelisk that evokes memories of the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, and that is inscribed with some of the civil rights leaders’ most inspiring words. With sweeping vistas of downtown Los Angeles, the hilltop location will be an ideal space for peaceful reflection, a highlight of the 13-mile Park to Playa trail currently under construction, slated to connect the beach to the Baldwin Hills by 2020.

Ridley-Thomas, who once served as president of the Los Angeles chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, also worked with the Board to coordinate MLK 50 Bell Toll events throughout Los Angeles County on April 4, the date of the assassination.

Led by the National Civil Rights Museum, the MLK 50 Bell Toll asks places of worship, college campuses and institutions around the world to have their bells toll 39 times to mark the number of years that the civil rights leader lived, and to pay homage to his legacy. Locally, the solemn ringing will begin at 4:01 p.m., the moment of Dr. King’s death.

Among those confirmed to participate in the MLK 50 Bell Toll in the County’s supervisorial districts are:

The San Gabriel Valley NAACP in West Covina, the NAACP in Pomona Valley, and the African American Museum of Beginnings in Pomona. Also participating will be the Transfiguration Church in Leimert Park, Hollywood United Methodist Church, The Korean Bell of Friendship in San Pedro, and the Holy Assembly Church of God and All Saints Church in Pasadena.